Andrew Goodman, coopetition in these parts, had a great and insightful post on SearchEngineLand.com today: Load Me Up: Should You Expand Your Retail Niche?
The long and short of it was this: It's all marketing. Doesn't matter whether it's offline or online, it's all marketing and it needs to live or die by that standards and measurements of marketing. While SEM is more accountable based on conversions, analytics or the like, the reality is each and every campaign, whether online or offline has a minimum performance standard with key performance indicators.
Every dollar invested has an expected return. There is no such thing as brand campaign. No one, absolutely no one brands without the expectation of a lift in sales.
Andrew is dead on the money. More importantly, the realization that the differentiators between the offline world and the online world are not that different is a dialogue long overdue.
It's nice to hear names like Ries & Trout being dropped about. And David Ogilvy.
Have a good one.
~The (SEP) Guy